NAPTIN recommends skill development to curb unemployment
By Bridget Ikyado
The Director-General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) Mr Ahmed Nagode has called for investments in skill acquisition to address unemployment in the country.
Nagode made the call at the November edition of Lunch Time Seminar, organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lunch Time Seminar is an initiative of BPSR which brings, public servants to together to X-ray implementation of reform programmes in various sectors.
He said that there many graduates especially in electrical and mechanical engineering who cannot operate on a transformer successfully.
Nagode said that the lack of practical skills have contributed to the high rate of employment in the country calling for increased investment in skill acquisition.
“This is the way to go to address the issues of unemployment, it is high time we know that white collar job is no longer available.
“It is like a pyramid, the more you go up, the thinner it becomes; so let us start selling the idea that the way to go for us in Nigeria is to go back to skills acquisition, get people to work and to become entrepreneurs on their own.
“Some other countries in Africa like South Africa, the form cooperative and they carry out a lot of jobs and they are increasing the GDP, they are not depending on government or the community.
“We are engaging the National Assembly and we are telling to them, some of your constituency projects, why not build self empowerment centre.
“So that you can train your constituents for them to acquire skill in the area of solar, metering so when they come out, they will not be looking for office jobs but will be on their own, make money and become entrepreneurs,” he said.
Nagode said that the institute is in collaboration with universities to provide practical learning for students of electrical and mechanical engineering.
He said one of the trainee of the institute have installed over 100 solar panels for home and offices in Abuja.
The director-general called for the abolition of the dichotomy between degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in public service.
According to him, when they do interviews Bsc, HND, HND holder do better because they do practicals, they do the work.
“There need to remove the dichotomy between degree and HMD, in all my experience, HMD holder so the work.
“In a sector that is skills driven, I do not think it is fair to discriminate against HMD holders; the defunct monopoly of NEPA/PHCN, we never hard dichotomy.
“What we do in NAPTIN is purely practicals, we do not do theory or designing; the essence is to fill the gap between academic training and skills required to operate on the network.
“If you have people who are doing the job, I do not know why we still have this problem; if you have it in other sectors may be it’s fine, but to have it in a sector that is skills driven.
“Most of my best hands are HMD holders, those I can send out to hold trainings in Malawi, Botswana, Angola, these are the people who do the job,” he said.
He said that developed economies like Japan, more attention is paid to what “you can do then what you say.”
Nagode said that Nigeria could leaverage on knowledge economy like Korea and Singapore that do not really have natural resources but depends on what the people can do to sustain the countries.
The director-general called for the establishment of a training fund to build the capacity of intending and active personnel in power sectors.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi said that BPSR since its establishment, has been committed to driving change that positions Nigeria’s public service as an institution of excellence.
“The seminar aligns seamlessly with the vision and mission, providing an opportunity to delve into the transformative initiatives undertaken by NAPTIN in the pursuit of a well-functioning, effective, and efficient socio-economic system that corresponds with the Renewed Hope Agenda.
“The aims to improve the lives of Nigerians, strengthen economic bonds, foster social cohesion and cultural understanding, and develop a sense of fairness and equity.
“In our pursuit of socio-economic development and nation-building, the question of electricity supply stands as a linchpin.
“The power sector, a catalyst for economic growth, demands innovative and sustainable solutions,” he said.